BeWhere Sweden is focused particularly on forest biomass, biofuel production and design of forest-based value chains, with a high degree of detail regarding the biomass supply and industrially integrated biofuel production, where potential plant hosts are largely modelled individually. The model is primarily used to analyse how future bio-based value chains can be implemented cost-effectively from a system perspective, what role the existing energy infrastructure (industry and energy facilities) can play, and how different parameters affect, for example, the choice of conversion technologies, localisation, and integration, in a system where the same limited resource (biomass) is also in demand from other sectors. The parameters considered include e.g. policy instruments, future scenarios for energy market conditions, technological development and industrial investment opportunities.
The model minimises the cost of the entire studied system to simultaneously meet a certain defined biofuel production demand, as well as the demand for biomass from other sectors. The system cost includes costs and revenues for production and transportation of biomass, production facilities, transportation and delivery of biofuels, by-products sales, and economic policy instruments. The cost is minimised under a number of constraints that describe and limit, for example, supply and demand for biomass, possible import and export of biomass, plant operation and demand for end products. The model will thus choose the least costly combinations of feedstocks, production facilities and biofuel distribution. The resulting model output includes a set of new biofuel production facilities in order to meet the defined production target, the resulting supply chain configurations, the origin of used biomass, and costs related to the different parts of the supply chain.
Forest biomass supply and demand
Focus is on woody biomass resources: virgin forest biomass from forestry operations (sawlogs, pulp wood, harvesting residues, stumps), by-products from forest industry (chips, bark, sawdust), farmed wood from abandoned arable land, waste wood, and refined wood pellets. In addition to demand as feedstock for biofuel production, competing demand from the forest industry (pulp mills, sawmills and pellets industries) as well as the stationary energy sector (heat and electricity) are also considered explicitly.
For biofuel production, the main focus is on forest-based biofuels produced via thermochemical (gasification, HTL, pyrolysis) or biochemical (fermentation, anaerobic digestion) conversion. Also commercial biofuel production technologies that are currently in operation in Sweden are included in the model (biogas from anaerobic digestion, grain-based ethanol, RME, and tall oil based HVO).
BeWhere Sweden is geographically explicit regarding woody biomass cost-supply, competing biomass demand, existing and potential new biofuel production, transportation infrastructure, and biofuel demand. The figure below gives an overview of the main biomass flows and geographic scope of the BeWhere Sweden model. Two different geographic representations are used: a base model grid with 0.5 degree spatial resolution (“G” in the figure), and explicit locations (“E” in the figure).